'India pushing Myanmar to take back Rohingya refugees'
Dhaka: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has expressed solidarity with Bangladesh over the Rohingya crisis and said India is putting pressure on Myanmar to take back refugees who have fled the Buddhist-majority nation, a top aide of Bangladesh Prime Minister has said.
More than 3,00,000 Rohingya have poured into Bangladesh since the latest flare-up in violence on August 25, adding to around 3,00,000 refugees already living in Bangladesh, close to the border with Myanmar.
"She (Swaraj) called our Prime Minister last night and conveyed her country's solidarity with Bangladesh over the Myanmar refugee issue," Prime Minister Shiekh Hasina deputy press secretary Nazrul Islam said.
Swaraj, he said, told the Bangladesh premier that the crisis by now appeared as an international issue while India was trying to put "pressure bilaterally and multilaterally on Myanmar to stop persecution on ethnic minority Rohingya Muslims" and take back the refugees who fled to Bangladesh.
According to the spokesman, Hasina, on the other hand, said Bangladesh was forced to offer refuge to the refugees on humanitarian ground as they fled their home at Myanmar's western Rakhine state to evade atrocities.
He said Hasina explained to Swaraj the helplessness and miseries of the refugees, particularly of the minor children and women, and said Bangladesh is trying to address their basic needs. "She (Hasina) told Swaraj that Bangladesh required external supports to handle the refugee issue and return them to Myanmar," the spokesman said.